With European Market on Milton Avenue right around the corner (September 16 and 17), now is the perfect time to adopt a European appreciation for cuisine—and Alpharetta is just the place to delve into divine dishes featuring quality ingredients, all the while experiencing the sense of community and camaraderie found in the act of breaking bread with family and friends.
Rise and shine
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. Fortunately, Alpharetta has a few cafes (ooh la la) simply ideal for fueling you up for all the perusing that awaits you at the European Market on Milton Ave. Located just steps away from the Peach State’s take on the open air markets of Italy and France, stop by Mugs on Milton to start your day off right. Start with a kick of caffeine in the form of a double shot of espresso or punch up your Alpharetta AM with a macchiato (2 oz. of espresso with steamed milk). If you’re not quite ready to go full Euro-caffeinated, Mugs on Milton also offers coffeehouse traditions like French-pressed coffee and the fall fave pumpkin spice latte.
Once you’ve found the pep in your step at Mugs on Milton, make your way over to 2B Whole, a European-style gluten-free bakery nestled in the heart of Downtown Alpharetta. And before you turn your nose up at the notion of a wheat-free sweet shop, know that this bakery frequently sells out of its specials and is a go-to for birthday and wedding cakes among the locals. The Greek beignets and cream cheese and strawberry-filled fried raviolis are just a couple of can’t-miss items that demonstrate 2B’s brilliant mix of old school pastries with new school surprises. Cupcakes, cookies, and breads abound—you won’t even miss the gluten!
Ideal for afternoon strolling
European Market makes its way to Alpharetta just in time for the Downtown Farmers Market. Step across the pond without ever leaving the Deep South as you find over 60 local vendors at the Farmers Market just across the sidewalk from Alpharetta’s European Market! Fresh, local produce, artisanal cheeses, handcrafted jams, and golden locally-sourced honey are just a few ways you’ll be transported to a far-away way of life without ever leaving the heart of Georgia. From 8:30am to 1pm, Downtown bustles with merchants proudly offering all the rich flavors of the season to accompany the European Market’s unique wares and fascinating finds.
As the afternoon sun rests high in the Georgia sky, allow your appetite to lead you to Collet French Pastry Café for a taste of truly Parisian delicacies located right on Old Milton Parkway. This quaint café features a variety of salads and sandwiches and has quite the reputation for sweetening even the most discerning of palates. The rum baba, a golden, brioche-like sweet bread soaked in rum, is a beaucoup best-seller, and various fruit tarts illuminate the flavors of summer with sun-ripened seasonal berries atop delightfully decadent French pastry.
Discover more Old World delights in the form of afternoon tea at Mittie’s Café. Nestled in Downtown Alpharetta, Mittie’s boasts a wide variety of sumptuous hot teas perfect for washing down your lunch. If you find yourself in the mood for an experience fit for a queen (or king), reserve the High Tea in advance of your trip! Decadent European bites like the quiche du jour, cherry bleu chicken filo, and tea muffins dazzle alongside your favorite belly-warming tea. Replenish your brood as you savor a spot of the time-honored British tradition—all in a cozy cottage setting featuring fresh florals and lovely décor.
An epicurean evening
Sifting through European Market’s most charming treasures calls for a celebratory dinner. La Casa, one of Alpharetta’s loveliest dinner destinations, features authentic Neapolitan cuisine. Tucked within a pristine historical home complete with lush landscaping and a pretty porch perfect for autumnal al fresco dining, you’ll find one of Alpharetta’s longtime date night traditions. Wines served by the glass and handmade arancini as well as made-with-love spaghetti and meatballs and mouthwatering chicken piccatta are just a few La Casa elements certain to send you into the warmth and wonder of Old World Italy.
If you’re in search of more shareable dinner options, transport you and your crew to Spain at MADE Kitchen & Cocktails, a tapas spot on Roswell Street. Start with house-cured/house-cut meats and expertly paired cheeses for a charcuterie plate you’ll have to force yourself to share, then move on to small plate options like the melt-in-your-mouth braised pork cheeks, romesco topped short rib croquettes, and piquillo peppers stuffed with creamy goat cheese. Be certain to opt for a round (or two) of the seasonally created red and white sangrias to round out the full tapas experience.
Europeans know all too well that the evening doesn’t have to end when dinner does. Should you find yourself thirsty for more of Alpharetta’s best, Avalon offers post-dinner spots to post up that will help you stretch the evening on a bit longer. Café Intermezzo serves as a step into Vienna with its extensive wine lists and after-coffee beverage selections surrounded by rich golden tones and illuminated by stunning crystal chandeliers. Recap the weekend’s high points over a cappuccino or toast the Alpharetta adventures yet to come with a sweet ruby port. For one final European treat, venture to Caffe Antico for a single or double scoop of authentic Gelati Italiana (gelato) or Sorbeti (sorbet) and an after-dinner cup of hot Italian Nutella drink.
For additional dining suggestions to accompany your European Market adventure in Alpharetta, click here!